Submitted by: Mike Jensen, IT Director
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Sterne School has a 1:1 iPad program to support students’ access to curriculum, digital literacy skills, and creative expression. Research shows that iPads also help students with executive functioning- including planning, time management, and remembering assignments and homework. The iPad is just one of the many tools we use to help students achieve their educational goals at Sterne. For more information on our technology program and tools, go to our website.
Two primary concerns related to our use of technology, and specifically iPads, are content and screen time. To help address content, Sterne School runs a Mobile Device Management (MDM) software system on all our Sterne owned iPads. This built-in software allows Sterne to regulate and restrict access to social media, games, and the app store. We also control the content that can be accessed by all iPads on campus through the use of internet firewalls, and an OpenDNS to make sure material is appropriate for school.
To help promote connections and engagements beyond the screen and instill a balanced sense of technology and non-technology time in the school environment, the Middle School requires students to take recess, snack, and lunch breaks without iPads. Furthermore, although used as a tool in the classroom, teachers will often ask students to check their iPads into the “iPad hotel” (phones, too) or do a “faceplant” which means their iPads are to be flipped over screen-side down so as not to interfere with the activity or particular lesson for that period. These screen time protocols and techniques help instill responsible and respectful use of technology.
We recognize that creating a culture of respect and balance around technology at home can be daunting -- both in the what (regulations, conditions) and in the how (tools, settings). Before iPads it was phones, game systems, computers, television, music...it’s always something, right?
There is good news, however! For students who are using a Sterne owned iPad, our MDM (and associated restrictions) works at home as well as school. There are also a number of tech tools parents can access to help their student(s) learn how to be responsible digital natives (content and screen time). Below are some tools, tips, and recommendations:
- Use a firewall on your internet connection
- Free home monitoring solution (same system we use at Sterne) https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/
- Use your router to control content and screen time (for iPads, phones, and computers). Call your internet provider for more information about your particular router. Two examples:
- Apple Airport Router:
- Timed Access Control: https://www.imore.com/how-set-timed-access-control-your-apple-airport-router
- Netgear router-
- Apple Airport Router:
- Ask students to use and keep their iPads in an open, public area at home. Have them plug their iPad into their school-issued charger in that social area overnight. Work with your child- ask them to show you what they are doing on their iPad. Make their bedroom a no-screen zone!
- For more helpful hints about appropriate technology use at home- please read: http://jodiegale.com/10-tips-for-healthy-ipad-use-for-kids-and-their-parents/
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Jensen, IT Director at Sterne School. email@example.com